Mass Communication And American Social Thought

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Overview

This anthology of hard-to-find primary documents provides a solid overview of the foundations of American media studies. Focusing on mass communication and society and how this research fits into larger patterns of social thought, this valuable collection features key texts covering the media studies traditions of the Chicago school, the effects tradition, the critical theory of the Frankfurt school, and mass society theory. Where possible, articles are reproduced in their entirety to preserve the historical flavor and texture of the original works. Topics include popular theater, yellow journalism, cinema, books, public relations, political and military propaganda, advertising, opinion polling, photography, the avant-garde, popular magazines, comics, the urban press, radio drama, soap opera, popular music, and television drama and news. This text is ideal for upper-level courses in mass communication and media theory, media and society, mass communication effects, and mass media history.

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Herbst
Mass Communication and American Social Thought is a tour de force, a collection like no other in our field. Peters and Simonson have not simply compiled our greatest essays. This volume maps nearly all we know about the essential dynamics of mass communication, constructing a fierce dialogue among brilliant writers who never had the chance to argue in person. It is a compelling approach, bringing the famous essays together with forgotten works into one powerful book. This collection will change how we think about our discipline and is required reading for students, scholars, and anyone with an interest in the evolution of American mass media.
Elihu Katz
This collection of classics is a major step toward the grounding of collective memory for our field.
Craig Calhoun
This is an enormously useful collection, not only for students of the history of communications, but for all who are interested in the history of American social thought. It should also help in the important task of putting questions of large scale communication at the center of contemporary debates about the future of democracy.
CHOICE
Some of the work gathered in this remarkable collection of excerpts—from essays, books, journals, fiction, academic research, and popular writing—has long been out of print, and Peters and Simonson's intention was to make these works available to a broad readership. In their introductory chapter, the editors provide an informative, enthusiastic rationale for the project and their choices and also an overview of the evolution of writing and thought about mass communication. Peters and Simonson also provide lists of supplementary collections and of films that 'raise questions about the meaning of media for modern social life.' They close their valuable collection with a selected bibliography. Recommended.
Communication Booknotes Quarterly
Includes nearly 70 papers or excepts from important theorists and researchers over a half century period vital to the formation of an academic discipline. A very useful addition to the literature which should open links for new readers to important historical work.
Choice
Some of the work gathered in this remarkable collection of excerpts—from essays, books, journals, fiction, academic research, and popular writing—has long been out of print, and Peters and Simonson's intention was to make these works available to a broad readership. In their introductory chapter, the editors provide an informative, enthusiastic rationale for the project and their choices and also an overview of the evolution of writing and thought about mass communication. Peters and Simonson also provide lists of supplementary collections and of films that 'raise questions about the meaning of media for modern social life.' They close their valuable collection with a selected bibliography. Recommended.
Choice
Some of the work gathered in this remarkable collection of excerpts—from essays, books, journals, fiction, academic research, and popular writing—has long been out of print, and Peters and Simonson's intention was to make these works available to a broad readership. In their introductory chapter, the editors provide an informative, enthusiastic rationale for the project and their choices and also an overview of the evolution of writing and thought about mass communication. Peters and Simonson also provide lists of supplementary collections and of films that 'raise questions about the meaning of media for modern social life.' They close their valuable collection with a selected bibliography. Recommended.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Durham Peters is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Peter Simonson is assistant professor of communication at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Mass Communication and American Social Thought: Key Texts, 1919-1968 Part 2 Part I From Hope to Disillusionment: Mass Communication Theory Coalesces, 1919-1933 Chapter 3 1 "The Process of Social Change," from Political Science Quarterly (1897) Chapter 4 2 "The House of Dreams," from The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909) Chapter 5 3 From Winesburg, Ohio (1919) Chapter 6 4 From Introduction to the Science of Sociology (1921) Chapter 7 5 "Nature, Communication, and Meaning," from Experience and Nature (1925) Chapter 8 6 "The Disenchanted Man," from The Phantom Public (1925) Chapter 9 7 "Criteria of Negro Art," from Crisis Magazine (1926) Chapter 10 8 "The Results of Propaganda," from Propaganda Technique in the World War (1927) Chapter 11 9 "Manipulating Public Opinion: The Why and the How" (1928) Chapter 12 10 From Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929) Chapter 13 11 "Communication," from Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (1931) Part 14 Part II The World in Turmoil: Communications Research, 1933-1949 Chapter 15 12 "Conclusion," from Movies and Conduct (1933) Chapter 16 13 "The Integration of Communication," from Communication Agencies and Social Life (1933) Chapter 17 14 "Toward a Critique of Negro Music," from Opportunity (1934) Chapter 18 15 From Technics and Civilization (1934) Chapter 19 16 "The Business Nobody Knows," from Our Master's Voice (1934) Chapter 20 17 "The Influence of Radio upon Mental and Social Life," from The Psychology of Radio (1935) Chapter 21 18 "Foreword," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1937) Chapter 22 19 "Human Interest Stories and Democracy," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1937) Chapter 23 20 From The Fine Art of Propaganda (1939) Chapter 24 21 "A Powerful, Bold, and Unmeasurable Party?" from The Pulse of Democracy (1940) Chapter 25 22 "Democracy in Reverse," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1940) Chapter 26 23 "Needed Research in Communication," from the Rockefeller Archives (1940) Chapter 27 24 "On Borrowed Experience: An Analysis of Listening to Daytime Sketches," from Studies in Philosophy and Social Science (1941) Chapter 28 25 "Art and Mass Culture," from Studies in Philosophy and Social Science (1941) Chapter 29 26 "Administrative and Critical Communications Research," from Studies in Philosophy and Social Science (1941) Chapter 30 27 "The Popular Music Industry," from Radio Research 1941 (1942) Chapter 31 28 From Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) Chapter 32 29 "Nazi Propaganda and Violence," from German Radio Propaganda (1944) Chapter 33 30 "Biographies in Popular Magazines," from Radio Research 1942-1943 (1944) Chapter 34 31 "The Negro Press," from An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944) Chapter 35 32 "A Social Critique of Radio Music," from the Kenyon Review (1945) Chapter 36 33 "The Social and Cultural Context," from Mass Persuasion (1946) Chapter 37 34 "The Requirements," from A Free and Responsible Press (1947) Chapter 38 35 "Mass Media," from UNESCO: Its Philosophy and Purpose (1947) Chapter 39 36 "The Enormous Radio," from The Enormous Radio and Other Stories (1947) Chapter 40 37 "Mass Communication, Popular Taste, and Organized Social Action," from The Communication of Ideas (1948) Chapter 41 38 Table from "Communication Research and the Social Psychologist," from Current Trends in Social Psychology (1948) Chapter 42 39 "Information, Language, and Society," from Cybernetics: Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948) Chapter 43 40 "Consensus and Mass Communication," from American Sociological Review (1948) Chapter 44 41 "What 'Missing the Newspaper' Means," from Communications Research (1949) Part 45 Part III The American Dream and Its Discontents: Mass Communication Theory, 1949-1968 Chapter 46 42 "Industrialism and Cultural Values," from The Bias of Communication (1950) Chapter 47 43 "Emerging from Magic," from Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1950) Chapter 48 44 "Storytellers as Tutors in technique," from The Lonely Crowd (1950) Chapter 49 45 "Our Next Frontier. . .Transoceanic TV," from Look (1950) Chapter 50 46 "Communication in the Sovietized State, as Demonstrated in Korea," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1951) Chapter 51 47 "The Consumer's Stake in Radio and Television," from Quarterly of Film, Radio and Television (1951) Chapter 52 48 "The Unique Perspective of Television and Its Effect," from American Sociological Review (1952) Chapter 53 49 "Technology and Political Change," from International Journal (1952) Chapter 54 50 "A Theory of Mass Culture," from Diogenes (1953) Chapter 55 51 "Sight, Sound, and Fury," from Commonweal (1954) Chapter 56 52 "Between Media and Mass," from Personal Influence (1955) Chapter 57 53 "The Theory of Mass Society: A Critique," from Commentary (1956) Chapter 58 54 "Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance," from Psychiatry (1956) Chapter 59 55 "The Mass Society," from The Power Elite (1956) Chapter 60 56 "FDR and the White House Mail," Public Opinion Quarterly (1956) Chapter 61 57 "Notes on a Natural History of Fads," from American Journal of Sociology (1957) Chapter 62 58 "Mass Communication and Socio-cultural Integration," from Social Forces (1958) Chapter 63 59 "Modernizing Styles of Life: A Theory," from The Passing of Traditional Society (1958) Chapter 64 60 "The Social-Anatomy of the Romance-Confession Cover Girl," from Journalism Quarterly (1959) Chapter 65 61 "The State of Communication Research," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1959) Chapter 66 62 "The State of Communication Research: Comments," from Public Opinion Quarterly (1959) Chapter 67 63 "What is Mass Communication?" from Mass Communication: A Sociological Perspective (1959) Chapter 68 64 "Social Theory and Mass Media," from Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science (1961) Chapter 69 65 "Television and Public Interest" (1961) Chapter 70 66 "The Kennedy Assassination and the Nature of Political Commitment," from The Kennedy Assassination and the American Public (1965) Chapter 71 67 "TV Overseas:The U.S. Hard Sell," from The Nation (1966) Chapter 72 68 "Aggressiveness in Advanced Industrial Societies," from Negations (1968) Chapter 73 Afterword and Acknowledgements Chapter 74 Other Readers and Historical Collections in American Mass Communication Study and Related Subjects Chapter 75 Suggested Films Chapter 76 Select Supplementary Reading List Chapter 77 The Intellectual History of North American Media Studies, 1919-1968: A Selected Bibliography

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